Heating baby food
You should always heat food properly and then allow it to cool, before feeding your baby. Babies don't normally mind food warm or at room temperature.
- Heat homemade baby food using a microwave or in a pan on the hob until it is piping hot and steaming. Don’t be tempted to warm food partially.
- If you’re using jars of baby food, stand them in hot water to heat them up.
- Check food is hot all the way through by testing it with a knife. Then make sure it's not too hot before feeding it to your baby by stirring the food to remove any hot spots.
- Never re-heat food more than once and throw away leftovers; food that’s been in contact with your baby’s mouth or cutlery may contain bacteria.
- If you’re heating food in advance, don’t leave it to cool at room temperature for too long; bacteria start developing within two hours and multiply rapidly.
Storing homemade food
At the start, your baby may only eat a tiny amount of the puréed food you cook. However, it’s a good idea to make plenty and freeze some to save time another day! Freezing seals in vitamins so your baby won’t miss out on any goodness but there are some safety pointers to watch out for.
- Once cooled, freeze food as soon as possible.
- Your freezer temperature should be 0oF (-18oC) or below.
- Use plastic tubs with tightly fitting lids or ice cube trays in plastic bags, clearly marked with the contents and date (you can tap out the cubes into the bags once frozen). Baby food will keep for three months in the freezer and should be thawed well before use – particularly if re-heating.
- Never re-freeze meals that have already been frozen.
Using jars of baby food
- Using a clean plastic spoon (not metal), stir well and serve your baby’s portion into a clean bowl.
- Food left over in the jar can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours (do not freeze).
- If feeding direct from the jar however, the unused portion must be discarded.
Always use the contents before the best before date which appears on the jar.